Governor Malloy created the Connecticut State Department on Aging in 2013. It consisted of two parts: (1) The State Unit on Aging; and (2) The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The State Unit on Aging administers several programs for older Connecticut residents such as in-home services, home-delivered meals, senior community employment, health insurance counseling and respite care for caregivers. The Long Term Care Ombudsman advocates for people living in nursing homes, residential care homes and assisted living communities. The Ombudsman seeks to improve the quality of life and care for seniors living in those facilities.
To provide these services, the State Department on Aging conducts needs assessments of seniors. The Department surveys methods of various services and how those services are delivered. Further, it evaluates and monitors those services. It also maintains a data-base of information and service providers for the public. Finally, it collaborates with other agencies to provide various services to Connecticut’s seniors. Ultimately, the goal of the State Department on Aging was to empower older people to enable them to live fuller and more independent lives and to provide leadership on issues facing older Connecticut residents.
On November 6, 2017, the Governor consolidated the State Department on Aging with the State Department of Rehabilitation Services (“DRS”). The State Unit on Aging and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs will continue to remain together under DRS.
Undoubtedly, keeping the State Unit on Aging and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program together – under one roof – has been a source of relief to many people. This “shell game” of shifting and combining state agencies is clearly designed to save money at a time when Connecticut government undergoes austere measures. We hope this consolidation will not reduce the State’s commitment to providing services to seniors. The website for the State Department on Aging remains live today but may close by June 30, 2018, when the fiscal year ends.
If you have questions related to what you’ve learned in this blog or would like to learn more about the changes to the Connecticut State Department on Aging, please don’t hesitate to call the elder law attorneys at Cipparone & Zaccaro, PC.